Dawgs Academy player LaRon Smith drafted by Twins

 LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 2018 MLB Draft. Photo Credit: Tyler King

LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 2018 MLB Draft. Photo Credit: Tyler King

Dawgs Academy player chosen in MLB Draft

By Tyler Lowey

Okotoks Dawgs

Okotoks, AB — LaRon Smith became the first Okotoks Dawgs Academy player to be selected in this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

The Minnesota Twins drafted the Foothills Composite High School student in the 25th round with the 754th pick.

“We are all super proud of him. It takes a lot of work to get to that level and he’s come a long way in two full years in our program,” said midget Dawgs Black Coach Tyler Hollick, who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 14th round during the 2012 Draft. “We are all really excited for him and it just goes to show that hard work pays off.”

Smith was the second player from the Dawgs organization to be drafted by the Twins. Earlier in the day, last year’s Western Major Baseball League Most Vaulable Player, Kody Funderburk, was picked in the 15th round.

Smith came to the Dawgs from Spruce Grove for his 2016 season. Standing 6- foot-2 and weighing 200 pounds, Smith was drafted as a catcher, even though he plays all over the infield and pitches for the midget Dawgs Black team.

This year in 57 at bats for the Dawgs, Smith is hitting .421 with a 1.086 OPS. He also has six doubles, one home run and 16 RBI.

Smith graduates high school this spring and has committed to the University of Alabama for next season.

The Dawgs organization has now produced more than 46 MLB draft picks from the Academy and Collegiate program. Smith joins collegiate players Funderburk, Michael Grelter and Greg Cullen as players associated with the Dawgs program to get drafted this year.